Chris Schwarz's Blog

New Contest: Build a Woodworker’s Bottle Opener

In the Wednesday edition of The New York Times, the newspaper featured a bottle opener from Areaware ( that is made from piece of wood, two magnets and a bent framing nail.

Read the article here and see a photo of the thing.

It’s pretty clever (especially the magnets). But today I challenged the magazine staff to do better. And now I’m challenging you in a new contest. Build a bottle opener using shop supplies that will make a woodworker smile. Take a photo of your entry and e-mail it to me at along with your name and e-mail (that’s very important so we can contact you if you win). Do this by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010.

The winner (as determined by our editors, who probably have been drinking) will win $100 of merchandise from the We just added 500 new products to the store, so there is lots of great stuff to choose from.

To get your juices flowing, we shot this video of the editors showing off the bottle openers they made today. Check it out and let us know which editor made the best opener.

— Christopher Schwarz

14 thoughts on “New Contest: Build a Woodworker’s Bottle Opener

  1. Brian

    I’m glad to see an IPA was used in this exercise. Speaking of IPA’s (and being from the west coast), you need to try Stone Ipa. 🙂 best EVER.

    Seattle, WA

  2. Paul

    I just read the New York Times article and notice that they were selling the openers for 20 bucks a pop! All the things I’ve used to open a bottle, I could have marketed to some rich yuppies and made a fortune! Paul

  3. Nick Laeder

    At last count I have at least 637 different objects in my shop that all double as a bottle opener. Now you want me to make one thing that opens bottles, and only opens bottles? I’ll lose the damn thing as soon as it’s done and end up using my wedding ring like I always do.


    P.S. This website is awesome. As I typed this comment, the fields for Name, E-mail, and Home Page kept moving over and back one character space. Made me think I was having a stroke. Or not enough coffee.

  4. NHSchreiner

    I know you are not responsible for the maker. I guess the economy is doing a lot better in New York, and nobody needs a job to build bottle openers. Give me a break!

  5. wapitiscat

    Great challenge! I was supposed to help my daughter build a wooden pyramid this weekend. I guess she’ll have to do it the old fashioned way (with heavy stones and indentured servants) since I’ll be "innovating" in the shop. Megan, offset the washer location and elongate the block just a bit and you shall achieve nirvana via leverage. Chris, some neighbors of mine have a bottle opener on their kitchen door that is similar with respect to the mechanics and the position of the bottle. I can’t get the hang of it and invariably leave the door covered in beer spray. It’s like a parlor trick except that it’s kind of pitiful.

    Stay thirsty, Todd

  6. Megan

    Lucy ought to be ashamed of you! Tonight is the finale of Project Runway – where’s your tie-in?! this bottle opener contest should have involved a $2 budget, 5 minutes in the hardware store and 45 minutes of construction time. Of course, I’d have been sent home for abject failure…so I should shut up.

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